DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours is the latest installment in Taito's DARIUS series of arcade-style shooting games. Blast hordes of alien sea-monsters, and blaze your own trail through branching environments.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (224 reviews) - 88% of the 224 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 3, 2015

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June 23

DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours v1.00 Rev. 5782: Choose your player and more!

Additions:
  • Receive points on death in CS Mode until you buy all ships
  • AC Mode setting: lets you decide which controller controls which player (i.e. color/starting point)
  • Replaced Odyssey images with higher resolution images
  • Full controller support: the launcher can be now setup with a controller
  • Small Bug Fixes

9 comments Read more

June 9

Calling all shmup fans: Score Challenge starts today!

Shmups Skill Test Launch Week Challenge!
Think your Shmups Skills are up to the task? Grab Triangle Service's
Shmups Skill test and join in with the Launch Week Challenges!

Details here:
steamcommunity.com/games/430290/announcements/detail/950637823028983312

3 comments Read more

Reviews

“However you choose to play, whether all or in part, alone or in a group, DBCS is a product of exceptional grace. Cinematic and grandiose, the hypnotic flow of its stages and the dynamism of your weaponry is only upstaged by its set-piece bosses. From giant mechanised crabs and hulking sea turtles to formidable stingrays, swordfish and golden lobsters, each battle is positively majestic.”
Recommended – Eurogamer

“DariusBurst Chronicle Saviours is the best entry in the storied shoot ‘em up genre in years.”
4/5 – We Got This Covered

“A slice of heaven for shmup fans everywhere. Controller support, Steam cloud saves, 3000+ stages, 4 play co-op support, dual monitor and wide screen support and much much more. I can't put this game down, it's that much fun and it's that good.”
9/10 – The Outer Haven

About This Game

WARNING!! DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours is approaching fast!



DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours is the latest installment in Taito's DARIUS series of arcade-style shooting games. Blast hordes of alien sea-monsters, and blaze your own trail through branching environments.

Features:
  • The richest content in the Darius series: all the arcade content from Another Chronicle EX (AC), plus the all-new Chronicle Saviours (CS) Mode.
  • In AC Mode, you have multiple modes: Original, Original EX, and Chronicle Mode. Original Mode is an authentic recreation of the arcade campaign with its branching levels. Original EX mode is a harder version of the arcade campaign, designed for players that want an extra challenge.
  • Chronicle Mode includes a whopping 3000+ stages that can be unlocked by global players. Each time a world is unlocked by a player on your cabinet*, you get access to it too. Race to save them all!
  • CS Mode is a single player story mode with 200+ stages, spanning the entire timeline of DARIUS history. Revisit classic Darius ships and music in this ultimate fan experience!
  • 9 playable ships to choose from, including Silver Hawk variants from classic Darius games, and a new CS-exclusive ship. Some ships are equipped with powerful Burst weapons, while others have strong base firepower. Pick the playstyle that suits you best, and use your ship’s unique strengths and weaknesses to blast through your enemies.
  • Over 40 enormous aquatic-themed battleships including series favorites like "Great Thing" and "Iron Fossil" as well as new CS-exclusive bosses.
  • A haunting and memorable Zuntata soundtrack, including classic tracks and entirely new compositions. Play it loud for the full Darius experience!
  • Up to 4-player local co-op with unique mechanics like sharable power-ups and Burst weapon combos.
  • Graphical settings for a variety of resolutions in 16:9 and 32:9 aspect ratios—up to 3440 x 1440 resolution.
  • AC Mode supports dual monitors with a 32:9 aspect ratio, and up to 6880 x 1440 resolution. The 32:9 aspect ratio appears letterboxed on single-screen displays to preserve the appearance of the original game. CS Mode is optimized for single-monitor displays to give a larger picture. No matter what your setup, DARIUSBURST CS is a truly massive visual experience!
  • Steam achievements, online leaderboards, and cloud backup saves are supported. Compete to see who can get the best score in each area!

For additional information about Darius lore, game modes, ship types, and more, please visit the Darius website at: http://darius.jp/dbcs/en/

*Here's how the cabinet feature works; when you begin playing DARIUSBURST CS, you'll be assigned a random virtual cabinet. As you complete areas in Chronicle Mode, you'll liberate planets and unlock new areas. Whenever you liberate a world, it will also be unlocked and shared with other players that are in the same cabinet. Compete with other players to see who can clear the most worlds, or see who can get the highest score in each world. It's like a miniature universe that you share with other players!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista/7/8.1/10
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo E6400
    • Graphics: Shader Model 2.0 Compatible, GeForce 8600GT
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1800 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound-compatible sound card
    • Additional Notes: Controller recommended, Monitor over 1280x720 px, refresh rate over 60Hz not supported.
    Recommended:
    • Graphics: Shader Model 2.0 Compatible, GeForce GT260X or better
    • Additional Notes: Controllers: XInput and DirectInput (Xbox or similar button layout) controllers are supported. XInput controllers are recommended. ** DirectInput controllers with more or fewer buttons might not have an ideal layout. ** Analog Stick buttons (pressing the sticks inward) are not recognized. - - - Dual Monitors: To use dual-screen mode, 2 monitors supporting 1920x1080 are necessary. It is possible to use monitors with a higher resolution, but 2 monitors set to 1920x1080 are recommended. ** Monitors with less than 1080 pixels in vertical resolution are not supported. ** Dual monitors are only supported for AC Mode.
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (224 reviews)
Recently Posted
asiago
( 52.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 8
Product received for free
Ever since I saw Dariusburst AC's arcade cabinet, I knew. With a play area covering two widescreen TVs, Dariusburst AC was impressive before you even sat down. This is lost somewhat in the conversion - the PC edition allows you to use multiple monitors, but most people won't go through the trouble (myself included). Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours is an enhanced port of Dariusburst AC (which itself was a widely expanded reimagining of a PSP game of the same name).

The arcade content is exactly as it was in the arcade - you have eight ships to choose from, and several routes to take. Scoring revolves around two mechanics - building a multiplier by killing enemies and not getting hit, and using your ship's "burst" function for an extra multiplier on top of that. Ships will have different bursts and different multiplier rates, which means scoring with each ship means learning to approach the game very differently with different ships. It's rather simple, but very deep and very satisfying. From a score play perspective, Dariusburst is the best Darius has ever been. The arcade mode is entirely accurate, which means the original 32:9 aspect ratio is maintained and shrunk to fit. If your monitor isn't big enough, you may find things too small for your tastes. Which is where Chronicle mode comes in.

Chronicle mode uses the same basic system, but is resdesigned for a standard 16:9 display. The game structure is also different - instead of choosing your path through three stages, you select areas on a map that contain preset levels (not limited to 3!) and an assigned ship. There are dozens of these areas, and some of them are extremely long and difficult if you play on the default settings. It's a mildly enjoyable distraction from the arcade game, but it's so expansive that you're not likely to devote time to refining your play on any area and therefore stands more as a survival-focused companion to the main game.

Musically Dariusburst is fantastic, with expertly crafted tracks synchronised to the action (in the arcade mode, anyway). The visual design is a step back from Darius Gaiden and G.Darius. It's all very competent, but none of the environments are memorable. Several of the bosses - Great Thing is the obvious example - are impressive, but that's largely a matter of scale and effective scripting of the battles. Neither screenshots nor videos adequetely communicate just how fantastic the game design is.

The DLC ships are a lot of fun to use, but they're tragically sandboxed in their own little mode - very similar to Chronicle mode, but laid out in menu format and with no progression aspect. In that respect it's disappointing - much as I love the arcade mode's perfect accuracy, I think I would love the opportunity to play Dariusburst AC meets Fantasy Zone more. Modding community, where are you?

Overall, Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours is currently the best shmup on Steam. There's a lot of content for those who need boxes to tick, and there's depth for those who like to perfect their execution in well-crafted challenges. The eight unique ships add a great deal of variety, and just learning what makes each of them work is enjoyable in itself. I can't reccomend Dariusburst enough.
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Aulbath
( 28.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12
Always considered the Darius games B-tier to R-Type and Gradius, but really enjoyed the unique visuals/designs and the weird but cool music by Zunata. Darius Gaiden is my favourite and also the last game in the series that I properly played. So, when DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours was announced, I was sure I had to have it.

Now that I spend a considerable amount of time with it, I believe it is the most disappointing STG-release for me on Steam. There are a couple of reasons for that:

ARCADE MODE - is no fun. Not only because it is a straight up emulation, meaning you need a dual screen setup to see anything (running this on my 27" screen the actual game action fills about 30% of the screen) but also because it seems to be balanced for 4 Player action. If you do solo-runs, have fun with bulletsponge enemies that take ages to kill.

There are a couple of extra modes (all with those double-screen graphics) that allow you take missions (preset bosses and stages to defeat) like CHRONICLE MODE or ORIGINAL MODE. These exist to give you that quick DARIUS fix. All in all, thanks to the screen-size and the emulation behaviour (which includes a long "Game Over" screen after getting any game over/game completion) it is frankly quite uncomfortable to play and tedious if you are not immediately put off by the tiny playarea on a single screen. This rendered the "ARCADE"-portion of the game pretty much useless to me.

CS MODE somewhat saves DARIUSBURST from being a complete bust. This is more or less the "home version" single player portion of the package and allows for proper single screen play. You have a space map, go on missions and unlock more missions. Missions are mostly straight up shoot 'em all sections strung together, occasionally though the game expects you to beat a high score to unlock an alternate route or not miss targets / beat sections on time. There are 186 mission in this mode in total and while it is fun for 20-30 stages, this quickly becomes a massive grindfest. You see, missions start you off with a preset craft - if you cannot make it through the stage with said craft, you might want to buy/unlock other ships - HOWEVER this costs ressources. Said ressources are directly tied to your score - I guess you understand where this leads to. Oh, and a mission can be anything from a single boss fight to a whole string of stages and bossfights - the time it takes to finish some of these "mini-campaign" would be enough to finish a complete run of other STGs. So, missions can be basically anything from mere minutes to half hour (and longer) sessions. The time investment needed to get anywhere is HUGE - unfortunately, it just isn't rewarding enough to spend that time. You see, another, and much more glaring issue is the lack of variety - about 50 missions in I felt like everything was the same - same bosses, same stages, just in different order. Again and again and again … in the end I really had to force myself to at least make it to the end (which was (spoiler) not worth it, if you are in it for the story bits that CS MODE throws at you - the chronicles of the 16 year Belsar war could have been done in a way more rewarding and fancy fashion). It's tedious, drawn out and drained me of any motivation to ever touch this game again.

Why did I force myself through this? Because I spent WAY too much money on DARIUSBURST CS, the asking price might be worth it if you enjoy 3000 variations of more or less the same boring stuff. This game is perhaps the worst STG when it comes to quantity over quality that I have ever played. I'd gladly take that number down to 10 or 20 stages and get unique and thought through / designed stages instead of an sheer endless amount of copy / paste / replace jobs.

Maybe all of this wouldn't be such a big deal if the game presented itself well or was really fun. But that is not the case unfortunately - the ships you control feel kinda wimpy most of the time and the presentation isn't flashy enough for me. I like arcade games because they gave you a sense of empowerment with all the lights and explosions usually going on as you take down towering monstrosities or dismantle huge spaceships - but when it comes to DARIUSBURST, there is almost none of that. Shooting and destroying hardpoints on enemy ships happens in rather unspectacular fashion and generally speaking the game looks PSX/N64 era with (bad) PS2 textures. All rendered at much higher resolution than those devices are capable of, thus giving the game it's almost sterile, barebones look. The Darius series has so many amazing designs for player spacecraft and enemy starships alike, but this ugly low poly look and the dull colors don't do these designs justice. And seeing the same backgrounds and almost Xevious-like popcorn enemies a bazillion times doesn't help with that impression.

I guess to make this game really work out for someone you have to a) own a proper screen setup and don't mind the low poly looks b) be really into high scores c) believe that sheer amount of content is more important than anything else.

I am really disappointed with this one and wouldn't recommend to anyone but the most hardcore who will most likely find lots of things to love about this if they are willing to grind it out.
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[✠TRUMP✠] Skull☠Fuk
( 8.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
Let's address the stinky, scaly, gaping mawed, Lovecraftian, elephant-sized, bullet-blasting, laser-slashing, space-fish in the room; This game is expensive.

After 5 hours, I've only scratched the surface of this fantastic game. Dariusburst CS is proving to be worth all of my less-than-hard-earned money, (thanks Mommy!)

A wonderful title for those who covet the SHMUP genre.
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Nil_Nickle
( 14.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
The game is awesome and well worth the asking price.
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Syphon
( 42.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
Absolute love letter to fans of Darius Series. Highly recommended even with the higher price. Quite surprised how much content is in the actual game. The CS mode in particular. If on sale, would very much buy for any shooter fan.
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Cannon Fodder
( 14.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 27
Recommended for all SHMUP gamers!
I would say it's sort of retrospective mix of Darius series.
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N🎒RL
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 24
This game is worth about 1/3 the asking price.
The "loads of content" is the same handful of levels and bosses in different arrangements.
There's better STG's on Steam that do not cost fifty dollars.
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Diebuster
( 73.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 19
Ignored by the majority of the western gamers, beloved by a niche & reviled by others, the Darius series has always been a bizarre one... in more ways than one. Mechanically, it's in a specific place between "mainstream shmup everyone and their grandmothers has played" and "turbo-hardcore bullet-curtain bonanza where the projectiles are many, the screen is busy and the ships are all piloted by girls or guys that all embody a specific anime fetish". Darius is accessible enough that the everyman may happen to give it a shot, but maybe not inaccessible enough for some members of the hardcore shmup community. As a result, you'll find that even the most beloved older entries in this series get reviews that complain about them being "too tough" or "unfair", despite the difficulty being much more beginner-friendly than the average Cave game.

This is largely because Darius, unlike many other shooters of its kind where one hit means death, has an upgradable shield system; that way, the difficulty ramps up to crazy levels, but even low-level players can feel like they can achieve things. In that regard, this game's the best in the series; while not "hand-holding", both Arcade and Chronicle Saviours modes put effort into guiding you towards high-level play, not through tutorials but through masterfully executed pacing. The first few CS missions, anyone could beat but it will just keep ramping up more and more, until you're fighting screen-filling monstrosities with barely any health. This format, however, is a double-edged sword; on one hand, CS mode's length creates a perfect learning curve. On the other hand, it sometimes loses the adventurous, over-the-top feeling of playing Gaiden or G; level assets and base designs for bosses are often blatantly recycled. The levels can feel like they were created (extremely well, but still) with a level creator and you will find yourself playing increasingly difficult versions of what is basically the same stage. Even including the recycling, though, DBCS still has far more content AND more solid, player-friendly mechanics than many of its rival shmups (I'm looking at you, Ikaruga stage 2) that I don't feel the price is hugely unwarranted. I paid 35 for it, and chances are it'll go down for good as time goes on; if the game grabs you in a particular way or if you're a really hardcore scrolling shmup fan, the price shouldn't bother you. Otherwise wait for a sale. I recommend checking out the second Taito arcade game collection on PS2; it has both Gaiden and G in it. My main reason for purchasing this was to support the series for what it represents as a whole moreso than to own this specific game.

The bosses have more specific, memorable patterns than ones found in more Cave-inspired games, where the bosses can kind of mesh together. I don't remember specific bullet patterns in Crimzon Clover that well, but the attacks of the Stare or Fossil-types in Darius will always stay with me.

The biggest difference between my view and that of the gaming mainstream lies in what many believe to add to a game's "content" or its "bang for their buck"; I don't really care if I can watch Flash cartoons on TV, watch real-life stand-up comic acts and be immersed in a "living, breathing world"; I don't need the oh-so-important "quiet time" and "pacing" of pushing a block onto a switch. I just want a game with non-stop, carefully-crafted, solid mechanics and design and DBCS does a great job at that. Those that think shmups are "easy to make" and thus should be ten bucks by default simply haven't thought deeply about what goes into a well-crafted game.

The art direction beyond the boss designs is possibly my biggest issue; the levels, while still full of enemies flying around in beautifully planned out routes like mechanical shoals, look pretty bland compared to the sheer beauty of G and Gaiden's settings. The bosses make up for this, though, being well-designed by famous anime mecha designers with the foresight of a stylishly blocky aesthetic not held back by hardware limitations (remember that Darius Burst started as a PSP game).

A common issue people have with this series is its music. From its very beginnings back in 1986, if you reached the iconically-designed, Go Nagai-esque King Fossil in the original Darius, your battle was accompanied by a melody that just... didn't sound quite right. For nearly three decades this tradition has been kept, this very game being heavily marketed using the level theme of the beginning of its Chronicle Saviours mode: a jazzy track with vocals that just feel... a tad off. This is because, from the get-go, Darius set out to create its own unique identity among the flood of shoot-em-ups of its era; a STRANGE identity. Surreal visuals, bizarre music written to inspire a variety of emotions; from relaxation, to getting high off your ♥♥♥, to a psychotic fit; and, above all else, a marine theme and a difficulty to match that make you feel like you are mere bait in a massive space-ecosystem of mechanical sea life. It's a type of game with genuine artistic merit that is never acknowledged as such.

Just as Darius Gaiden, back in 1994, had its soundtrack panned by game magazines of the time ("[like] some fat bint warbling away like an Old Spice advert" so does Chronicle Saviours' most popular English upload have a comment section flooded with "wtf is this garbage music" comments. The gaming community doesn't seem very accepting of music that gets across emotions that go beyond what is typical, but the bizarre nature of Zuntata's music for Darius is obviously not a result of incompetent songwrighting; the falsettos have their carefully-controlled purpose. It's not Trout Mask Replica-level, but it still helps contribute hugely to this series' sense of identity.

So, long story short; a unique and fun game, part of a fun and unique series. If you're not quite sure if this is your thing, try Gaiden and G first and see what impact they have on you and if you think it's too expensive, just wait until the next sale.
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Mortis
( 20.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 11
A great shooter. Fantastic music, tons of content. The presentation of the content is sort of disjointed and the game can feel a bit aimless or repetitive, though.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
52.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Product received for free
Ever since I saw Dariusburst AC's arcade cabinet, I knew. With a play area covering two widescreen TVs, Dariusburst AC was impressive before you even sat down. This is lost somewhat in the conversion - the PC edition allows you to use multiple monitors, but most people won't go through the trouble (myself included). Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours is an enhanced port of Dariusburst AC (which itself was a widely expanded reimagining of a PSP game of the same name).

The arcade content is exactly as it was in the arcade - you have eight ships to choose from, and several routes to take. Scoring revolves around two mechanics - building a multiplier by killing enemies and not getting hit, and using your ship's "burst" function for an extra multiplier on top of that. Ships will have different bursts and different multiplier rates, which means scoring with each ship means learning to approach the game very differently with different ships. It's rather simple, but very deep and very satisfying. From a score play perspective, Dariusburst is the best Darius has ever been. The arcade mode is entirely accurate, which means the original 32:9 aspect ratio is maintained and shrunk to fit. If your monitor isn't big enough, you may find things too small for your tastes. Which is where Chronicle mode comes in.

Chronicle mode uses the same basic system, but is resdesigned for a standard 16:9 display. The game structure is also different - instead of choosing your path through three stages, you select areas on a map that contain preset levels (not limited to 3!) and an assigned ship. There are dozens of these areas, and some of them are extremely long and difficult if you play on the default settings. It's a mildly enjoyable distraction from the arcade game, but it's so expansive that you're not likely to devote time to refining your play on any area and therefore stands more as a survival-focused companion to the main game.

Musically Dariusburst is fantastic, with expertly crafted tracks synchronised to the action (in the arcade mode, anyway). The visual design is a step back from Darius Gaiden and G.Darius. It's all very competent, but none of the environments are memorable. Several of the bosses - Great Thing is the obvious example - are impressive, but that's largely a matter of scale and effective scripting of the battles. Neither screenshots nor videos adequetely communicate just how fantastic the game design is.

The DLC ships are a lot of fun to use, but they're tragically sandboxed in their own little mode - very similar to Chronicle mode, but laid out in menu format and with no progression aspect. In that respect it's disappointing - much as I love the arcade mode's perfect accuracy, I think I would love the opportunity to play Dariusburst AC meets Fantasy Zone more. Modding community, where are you?

Overall, Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours is currently the best shmup on Steam. There's a lot of content for those who need boxes to tick, and there's depth for those who like to perfect their execution in well-crafted challenges. The eight unique ships add a great deal of variety, and just learning what makes each of them work is enjoyable in itself. I can't reccomend Dariusburst enough.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
151 of 177 people (85%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
99.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2015
I'm just going to start off by saying I have nothing but praise for this game. With that said I know most STEAM users are going to look at the price point for this and think, "They've GOT to be out of their minds!" No they aren't This game is packed with so much content that I don't think there's a single game of its kind that can topple. I'll even say that you couldn't even combine 3 or 4 games together to get the amount of content that this game has to offer fans of the genre.

Aesthetically this game brings a simple and clean presentation to the table. The UI for ship combat is clean and simple to understand without too much info bombarding the player while they are struggling to keep their ship from a fiery demise. The 3D models are low in the polygon department, yet beautifully designed. Everything from simple cannon fodder enemies to the enormous bosses look great.

When it comes to blasting things into the next dimension this game brings it home. Every stage I've played so far in CS mode feels satisfying to navigate through while serving a healthy dose of destruction to everything in your wake. The slew of ship models in the game keep everything feeling fresh. Each ship brings something different to the table, be it bombs, options (bits), firing patterns, lasers, devastating counter lasers... You're going to have a different experience trying each one.

Areas feel a bit easy at first, but the difficulty steadily increases with each one you go to. And there's 200 of them in this mode. You'll be forced to learn enemy formation patterns, stage layouts, and boss attack patterns. Also, don't worry about encountering the same boss two or three times. While sometimes bosses look the same, their attack patterns sure as heck are not. Nothing I've encountered so far has felt unfair to me and every death I've had in an area has brought me closer to success on my next go around. This game does a great job of being difficult without being frustrating.

The music is another thing in this game that really caught me off guard. The soundtrack and sound design for this game is just superb. Everything feels new yet very nostalgic. It's as if I've been transported over 20 years back to the past to enjoy some of the older games from back in my youth. It's something that just feels great to experience while going through the game. With that said, the music still sounds fresh and sound effects are of a better quality than what us older people had from back in the day.

The thing that boggles my mind with the game is that I haven't even touch AC mode which contains 3 other modes within it and the original aspect ratio of the arcade version which will allow PC players to enjoy an authentic quarter crunching experience. There's one mode (Chronicle I believe) that has 3000 stages that are unlocked by the community. Each "cabinet" is like its own little universe which players can pick before starting AC mode. The further you and players in that cabinet get through Chronicles the more worlds you unlock. It adds a VERY lite MMO aspect to the game which will keep this game fresh far a good long while.

But for me, I'm content with trying to survive through CS mode. I don't see myself finishing that anytime soon since I'm on the less skilled side of the spectrum when it comes to Shoot'em Ups. Like I've stated in the beginning, your money will not go to waste on this game is you're a fan of the genre and have been waiting for a content heavy shmup to come across the STEAM store. PC has been getting a RIDICULOUS amount of fantastic shooters in the last two years and DARIUSBURST has easily sky rocketed to the top 3 in my opinion. This is a top shelf experience and a title that deserves to be in every shmup fan's catalogue.
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72 of 82 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2015
The best and most shmup you can buy on Steam.

It's hard to explain how huge this game is. Do you want a lengthy single-player campaign that will take you many hours to complete? CS mode is that. Do you want a classic Darius experience with multiple routes? It has two of those modes: Original and Original EX. Do you want a huge selection of different challenges? Chronicle mode has hundreds and hundreds of challenges with thousands of stages. Even if you aren't the type who plays arcade games repeatedly in order to get higher scores, there's still enough here to occupy you for hundreds of hours.

And how is this gigantic game? In a word: incredible. Dariusburst takes a different tack than many modern bullet hell shooters and instead goes for what I'd call popcorn hell. Huge swarms of tiny enemies and asteroids are everywhere. The bosses are huge, have a large variety of attacks, and are exhilarating to fight. Don't think it's just swarms and bosses, though: there are plenty of bullet-firing medium sized enemies and stage walls to contend with, too. Dariusburst is very much its own thing and doesn't cleanly fit into any of the shmup archetypes.

The scoring system is relatively simple, with a multiplier that ticks up when you destroy waves of enemies and gets reduced when you get hit. Kill an entire enemy wave and the you get a score bonus multiplied by your current multiplier. Kill the final enemy of a wave with your rechargeable laser or bomb and you get that same bonus multiplied by 16. This means the best scoring tactic is to kill everything and try to eliminate the final enemy of each wave with your laser/bomb. This is easier said than done, so there's a lot of depth here in figuring out the ideal movement and timing for killing enemy waves. Bosses fire their own lasers and if you time it right, you can fire your own laser into that laser (like in G-Darius) and counter it for massive damage and large amounts of points if you kill the boss with the resulting counterburst.

The art design is great. It doesn't push a lot of polygons (this is an enhanced port of an arcade game based on a PSP game, after all) but the art more than makes up for it. Backgrounds can be astonishingly beautiful and the boss designs are great. There are also a large number of references to previous Darius games that are cool to pick out. Sound effects are well done. Nothing to write home about (apart from the wonderful boss alert siren), but they get the job done. The music is incredible. The "Freedom" song in the trailer is love-it-or-hate-it (I'm in the latter camp) but it's easily the least good of a long and lengthy soundtrack. The way the soundtrack is perfectly synchronized in the arcade modes is awe-inspiring.

There's only two real flaws with this game. The huge number of modes and missions means that high scores are scattered across a bunch of leaderboards rather than being concentrated and more competitive. Second, there's no practice mode for individual stages and bosses in AC mode. Some of the bosses (looking at YOU, Phantom Castle) have some really mean attacks and it would be nice to be able to practice them in AC mode without going through a series of stages beforehand. CS mode lets you select individual stages, so you can sort of use it for practice, but the aspect ratio is so different that it's not really the same thing as the AC mode boss fights.

All in all, I can't recommend this game enough. The price may be high but it is totally worth it given both the length and quality of Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours.
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147 of 216 people (68%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2015
Oh, DARIUSBURST. You come so close, and yet you falter mere steps away from the finish line.

Many people will look at the price tag and think twice about it, but if your concern is lack of content, you shouldn't worry. DARIUSBURST is a game that is absolutely stuffed to the gills. There's a full recreation of the Arcade mode in 32:9 (with dual-monitor support!), including Original (choose three stages from a total of twelve in the traditional Darius split map), Original EX (Original but harder), Chronicle (thousands of stages, unlocked collaboratively with other players), and Event (currently unused). There's also a new mode, similar to Chronicle meant for home play on a 16:9 monitor by a single player. There are dozens of enemies and bosses, most if not all of the latter having one or more variants with different attacks. There are eight ships to choose from in arcade and a ninth in CS, all of which have dramatically differing capabilities.

As far as actually playing it goes, DARIUSBURST doesn't disappoint either. The controls are responsive, the ships don't feel too fast or slow as you dodge between volleys of fire and take down enemies, and the battles are all delightfully flashy and impressive in a way that makes it fun to watch despite the average graphics. It's really a great game.

And yet, there's a big red thumbs down at the top of this review. And it's there for a reason. DARIUSBURST doesn't lack for content, and it doesn't lack for gameplay, but that's not all that's important to a game. What DARIUSBURST is ultimately missing to make it woth the full price tag is polish. It's an overall gread experience, that is nonetheless missing things - both minor little pleasantries and arguably key features.

There's no replay functionality whatsoever.

There's no stage practice option beyond finding a Chronicle course that starts with the stage you want to practice.

When playing AC mode on a single monitor, it's letterboxed... with bland black rectangles, as opposed to some of the series' gorgeous art assets.

Without multiple controllers, there's no way to pick the color of your ship.

There's no online multiplayer, when many of the stages in Chronicle cannot be entered at all without a team of two or more.

The arcade loading screens, meant to inform the player about their ship and the bosses, are inexplicably left untranslated from Japanese.

Those are all features that other shmups, cheaper shmups, have provided in the past. Yet DARIUSBURST, a fully-priced retail release, lacks them.

And that's why, ultimately, I cannot click the "Yes" button and recommend it. If there were a Mixed option in addition to Yes and No, I'd cheerfully pick that one, because there's a lot here to like. But if it's got to be one of the two...

DARIUSBURST would be worthwhile at $30. It'd be a bargain at $20. But at $50, I can't recommend it to anyone who would be on the fence and decide to read some reviews. Wait for a good sale, and THEN get it and have a great time.
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40 of 52 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2015
There was a time where if you had mentioned to me that you either had access to DariusBurst Another Chronicle, either via an arcade cabinet or by playing it on an iOS device, I would have given you a weird look. And not just any weird look, but the look that I wanted to steal your soul type of look as I really wanted a chance to try the game, just for once in my life. And with no access to either an iOS device or a Japanese PlayStation Portable, I was forced to merely watch videos of the game in action on Youtube. That is until recently when Degica stated they were porting the game over to not just the PlayStation Vita, but also the PlayStation 4 and the real shocker, the PC. That’s all I needed to hear to get my shmup spirits lifted. Besides Darius, my other favorite shmups, Gradius and Thunderforce, were dead and buried, never to see the day of light again. And while Darius was still being carried on, its existence was always out of my reach, that is until now. “Shoot-’em-up: a fast-moving story or movie, of which gunfire is a dominant feature. Also known as a shmup” DBCS is technically two games in one, which I believe was done to not only bring home that arcade experience but also to build upon it. Within the game, you have the ability to chose between DariusBurst Another Chronicle or AC mode, which includes all of the original arcade modes and original arcade screen ratio (perfect for dual screen or wide-format monitors and DariusBurst Chronicle Saviors or CS mode, which is the updated version of the game. And while you’re free to choose either mode, there are a few differences. In AC mode you have access to the original arcade game modes; Original, Original EX Mode, Chronicle Mode and Event Mode. Original (Easy, Normal and Hard) is what I call the starter zone while Original EX Mode is a tougher version, tailor made for shmup experts (Expect, Extreme and Exceed) . You know, the same people that are able to single credit an entire game.

Chronicle mode however is what stands out here as you are presented with several different missions and objectives to complete, as the systems are broken up into several areas. And speaking of those objectives, they range anywhere from completing an area with just one credit, completing an area with multiple players, playing with a specific set of equipment and so forth. It’s a definite time sink that’s for sure. Thankfully you’re not the only one who’s doing this, as everyone around the world who plays this game can also contribute to the AC progression via cabinets. And just like it sounds, a cabinet is like a global progression save. For example, say everyone from a specific arcade was able to beat several areas, such as one of the specific multiplayer objectives. That objective would then contribute to unlocking more areas in the AC mode’s game, and everyone who is accessing that cabinet can benefit and contribute to that going forward. This allows access to literally hundreds of new levels and even exclusive AC mode only bosses that you likely wouldn’t unlock on your own. And for those wondering, yes this is basically the NESYS / NESiCAxLive Network being emulated at home. Oh, and when I mention hundreds of levels, I actually meant thousands! Yes, Taito is boasting that Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours’s AC mode will include over 3000 total stages. So you’ll be playing this for quite some time. No matter how you choose to play the game; Xbox 360, Xbox One, Dual Shock 4, Arcade Stick, as several other not very known controllers, you’ll be happy to know that the game supports just about every gamepad and joystick. I can attest to that myself as I’ve tested over 10 different configurations and were able to play the game with all of them. And yes, you can even play with the keyboard, if you want to that is. I don’t see why, but at least that option is available.

However in CS mode, the game changes. Similar to the chronicle mode in AC, this is mode is also laid out in a manner that you have set paths to take, after first area is completed that is. And unlike AC mode where you can chose the next stage, once you start the area you’re stuck on until it’s completed. You’re also handicapped to an extent as you will find that some missions will not allow power ups to drop as well as restrict you to a specific ship. However you won’t go into a mission blind as the overlay will tell you from the start what your ship will be, power up status, how many zones make up the area, and stage make-up. Another difference is that while you play CS mode, you accumulate points based on how well you do in the zones you play through. Eventually after accumulating enough points you can trade them in for a new ship which you can then outfit with lasers, bombs and shielding. Using this tactic, you’re no longer forced to use the preset ship, which will make certain levels that may have seemed impossible before a total cake walk with the new ship. However there’s also a down side to this and every time you use that powered up ship, you will consume however many number of points you put into upgrading it. So you’ll have to track how much you have or if you start running low, to take off some of that added power or simply use the preset ship. It’s a nice method to keep you from overpowering your way to the end of the game. Via every transition in CS mode, you’re provided pieces of the on-going story that you’re currently taking place in. And while CS mode isn’t as expansive as AC mode as it pales in comparison of possible stages (200+ vs 3000), it’s still a fun addition and more up-to-date take on the Darius shooter. Also worth noting that CS mode is a single player affair while AC mode will allow up to 4 players.

You want ships? Well you won’t be disappeared here, especially if you’re familiar with the Darius games as there’s a handful of them playable in-game; Gaiden, Assault, Next, Legend, Formula, Origin, Second, Genesis and one ship that isn’t related to the Darius universe, the Murakumo, which is a CS exclusive ship btw. Apparently that ship hails from an older Taito game, one that I can’t quite figure out. And while it’s not directly related to the Darius ships of legend, the Murakumo is clearly a fantastic ship in its own right and is fun to play with, assuming you can afford the points required to pick it up. Fans of G-Darius may be slightly disappointed with the Genesis Silver Hawk as it does not feature it’s capture ball. It’s not a huge deal and it doesn’t detract from the game, but it would have been nice to see it included. Even still, there are subtle differences between the ships, so each one is unique in that retrospect. If you’ve ever played a Darius title, then you should be familiar on how the game functions. You pick your ship and off you go, pretty straight forward stuff. Thankfully the controls of the game are very responsive, and while playing the game I didn’t have any issues as I dodge the incoming fire. That said, if I died it was due to me slipping up instead of the game.

Read the entire review here - http://www.theouterhaven.net/2015/11/61199/
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32 of 42 people (76%) found this review helpful
Recommended
116.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2015
For fair disclosure, I was part of the closed beta testing team for Dariusburst CS.

An absolutely solid game, well worth the asking price involved. Having first hand experience with a DBAC arcade cabinet, I would've paid twice as much as this for the AC mode alone, regardless of the content of the CS mode.

Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours is a full conversion of one of the more successful recent arcade machines made, both in Japan and the west as well. The cab had 2 big widescreens plugged next to each other in 32:9 ratio, and the Steam version supports the same configuration - Put two widescreens together, and it'll run in Dual Screen mode. It's an absolutely INCREDIBLE spectacle for anyone even remotely into shmups, with the only thing missing being the subwoofer under your seat literally shaking you on boss warnings.

Original and Original EX modes are your standard arcade runs - Pick a route, play 3 stages, chase high scores. For the score chasers among everyone, this is going to be where you'll be spending most of your time. Original mode contains Easy, Normal and Hard routes, with Original EX containing Expert, Extreme, and Exceed difficulties. The balance between all the stages is very, very well done.

Chronicle Mode is almost like an online social mission mode based mode, with a gigantic map full of different planets and several different missions. Each planet is represented by a hex grid, and every hex represents a run of stages or bosses with clear conditions and rules. Completing this mission and meeting these conditions will liberate that area, unlocking all the missions around it. The interesting thing here, is that you are working together with everybody else online set to the same cabinet number as you, so you're working in a joint effort to unlock and complete Chronicle Mode together, not just yourself.

The CS mode is the home conversion exclusive mode, with gameplay designed for a single screen for people that don't have dual screen setups. This contains new stages, music, new bosses, a new ship, unique rules, storyline and a LOT of music / sound from the older Darius games in the series. For people looking for a progression based game with a start and an ending (and a game that fills the whole screen instead of letterboxe 32:9) then CS mode is where you'll want to be playing.

Ultimately it's a HUGE game, pretty much suitable for shmup players of all skills levels. There's something for the hardcore and something for the casual audience too.
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27 of 37 people (73%) found this review helpful
Recommended
30.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2015
First of all, I should say that I'm a huge fan of Darius series and Taito games in general so I might be a liiiittle biased here.

Now that I got that out of the way, let's move on to our main topic here, the game, DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours. Oh wow, where do I start?

You might have looked at the price point and went, "oh my god, that's high!” Believe me, I was like you too when I found out about it. I mainly bought this for its Arcade port of DARIUSBURST Another Chronicle, considering how hard it is to find the real cabinet version of the arcade game plus tons of new added content, I’d say it’s a really good buy.

The game is fun, it’s separated into two parts, CS Mode which is the new single player content made exclusively for this game and AC Mode, which is the arcade port of Another Chronicle. You have 9 (or was it 8?) different ships to choose from and some of them are from the older Darius games which was a pleasant surprise for me. (They even changes the music to older Darius music if you play as them in CS Mode, neat). The boss fights are great and the game boasts a pretty darn awesome soundtrack too, but I think a lot of us can agree the “freedom” song on the trailer is kinda meh.

The amount of levels you can play in this game is hugeeeeee! Mainly in CS Mode and Chronicle Mode in AC Mode. But a little warning. Sure, the game has tons of content but there's some repetition here and there and maybe some tweaks between the levels. Something like, "beat these levels and bosses with this ship". I think that might also be the case with Chronicle mode in AC Mode but I haven't really touched it yet during the time this review was written. But still, I enjoyed every second of it. And it really helps to get better for beating AC mode with 1 credit. Hey, on the bright sight, most of other shmups just have around 5 or 6 levels and this one have waaaay more than that. Fun!

If you’re a shmup fan, you definitely should get this but maybe when it's on sale, because honestly I still think it's a little bit pricey. But either way, this is the biggest shmup game I’ve ever played and I had a lot of fun with it, I hope when you bought this, you too will have fun with it :3
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19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2015
Say what you will about the price point but this game has an amount of content that no other game in the genre can boast. Normally a shooter will come with a regular arcade mode and maybe a boss rush. This game has the original arcade mode as well as the CS mode where you can go up against hundreds of different challenges.

Also unlike most shooter releases this is a brand new game that we are getting at the same time as Japan. Normally it would take years for us to see these titles but not with this one.
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
73.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
Ignored by the majority of the western gamers, beloved by a niche & reviled by others, the Darius series has always been a bizarre one... in more ways than one. Mechanically, it's in a specific place between "mainstream shmup everyone and their grandmothers has played" and "turbo-hardcore bullet-curtain bonanza where the projectiles are many, the screen is busy and the ships are all piloted by girls or guys that all embody a specific anime fetish". Darius is accessible enough that the everyman may happen to give it a shot, but maybe not inaccessible enough for some members of the hardcore shmup community. As a result, you'll find that even the most beloved older entries in this series get reviews that complain about them being "too tough" or "unfair", despite the difficulty being much more beginner-friendly than the average Cave game.

This is largely because Darius, unlike many other shooters of its kind where one hit means death, has an upgradable shield system; that way, the difficulty ramps up to crazy levels, but even low-level players can feel like they can achieve things. In that regard, this game's the best in the series; while not "hand-holding", both Arcade and Chronicle Saviours modes put effort into guiding you towards high-level play, not through tutorials but through masterfully executed pacing. The first few CS missions, anyone could beat but it will just keep ramping up more and more, until you're fighting screen-filling monstrosities with barely any health. This format, however, is a double-edged sword; on one hand, CS mode's length creates a perfect learning curve. On the other hand, it sometimes loses the adventurous, over-the-top feeling of playing Gaiden or G; level assets and base designs for bosses are often blatantly recycled. The levels can feel like they were created (extremely well, but still) with a level creator and you will find yourself playing increasingly difficult versions of what is basically the same stage. Even including the recycling, though, DBCS still has far more content AND more solid, player-friendly mechanics than many of its rival shmups (I'm looking at you, Ikaruga stage 2) that I don't feel the price is hugely unwarranted. I paid 35 for it, and chances are it'll go down for good as time goes on; if the game grabs you in a particular way or if you're a really hardcore scrolling shmup fan, the price shouldn't bother you. Otherwise wait for a sale. I recommend checking out the second Taito arcade game collection on PS2; it has both Gaiden and G in it. My main reason for purchasing this was to support the series for what it represents as a whole moreso than to own this specific game.

The bosses have more specific, memorable patterns than ones found in more Cave-inspired games, where the bosses can kind of mesh together. I don't remember specific bullet patterns in Crimzon Clover that well, but the attacks of the Stare or Fossil-types in Darius will always stay with me.

The biggest difference between my view and that of the gaming mainstream lies in what many believe to add to a game's "content" or its "bang for their buck"; I don't really care if I can watch Flash cartoons on TV, watch real-life stand-up comic acts and be immersed in a "living, breathing world"; I don't need the oh-so-important "quiet time" and "pacing" of pushing a block onto a switch. I just want a game with non-stop, carefully-crafted, solid mechanics and design and DBCS does a great job at that. Those that think shmups are "easy to make" and thus should be ten bucks by default simply haven't thought deeply about what goes into a well-crafted game.

The art direction beyond the boss designs is possibly my biggest issue; the levels, while still full of enemies flying around in beautifully planned out routes like mechanical shoals, look pretty bland compared to the sheer beauty of G and Gaiden's settings. The bosses make up for this, though, being well-designed by famous anime mecha designers with the foresight of a stylishly blocky aesthetic not held back by hardware limitations (remember that Darius Burst started as a PSP game).

A common issue people have with this series is its music. From its very beginnings back in 1986, if you reached the iconically-designed, Go Nagai-esque King Fossil in the original Darius, your battle was accompanied by a melody that just... didn't sound quite right. For nearly three decades this tradition has been kept, this very game being heavily marketed using the level theme of the beginning of its Chronicle Saviours mode: a jazzy track with vocals that just feel... a tad off. This is because, from the get-go, Darius set out to create its own unique identity among the flood of shoot-em-ups of its era; a STRANGE identity. Surreal visuals, bizarre music written to inspire a variety of emotions; from relaxation, to getting high off your ♥♥♥, to a psychotic fit; and, above all else, a marine theme and a difficulty to match that make you feel like you are mere bait in a massive space-ecosystem of mechanical sea life. It's a type of game with genuine artistic merit that is never acknowledged as such.

Just as Darius Gaiden, back in 1994, had its soundtrack panned by game magazines of the time ("[like] some fat bint warbling away like an Old Spice advert" so does Chronicle Saviours' most popular English upload have a comment section flooded with "wtf is this garbage music" comments. The gaming community doesn't seem very accepting of music that gets across emotions that go beyond what is typical, but the bizarre nature of Zuntata's music for Darius is obviously not a result of incompetent songwrighting; the falsettos have their carefully-controlled purpose. It's not Trout Mask Replica-level, but it still helps contribute hugely to this series' sense of identity.

So, long story short; a unique and fun game, part of a fun and unique series. If you're not quite sure if this is your thing, try Gaiden and G first and see what impact they have on you and if you think it's too expensive, just wait until the next sale.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2015
I bought this as a long-time fan of Konami's Gradius, MOSS' Raiden, and Irem's R-Type series. Had never put much effort into Taito's Darius series, until now. DB:CS is excellent.

Pros:
+3,000+ levels
+Looks better than most shmups
+More content than arcade
+Online Features
+Local Multiplayer
+Dual-screen support
+Works on older PCs

Cons:
-No online multiplayer
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